Despite the subzero temperatures and lack of oxygen, people can survive even a long journey in the wheel well of a jetliner. The latest example is a teenager who, according to authorities, stowed away Sunday on a 5 1/2-hour flight from San Jose, Calif., to Hawaii.
It was not immediately clear how the boy stayed alive in the unpressurized space. A Federal Aviation Administration study of stowaways found that some survive by going into a hibernation-like state.
Worldwide, there have been 105 known people who stowed away since 1947, according to data kept by the FAA. Counting the California teen, 25 made it alive, for a survival rate of about 1 in 4.
The FAA notes that the rate may be lower, because people could have stowed away and fallen out of the wheel well without anyone knowing.